If Rafael Nadal surpasses Roger Federer as the all-time leader in Grand Slam titles, he will settle tennis' long-running GOAT debate.That's the vie
If Rafael Nadal surpasses Roger Federer as the all-time leader in Grand Slam titles, he will settle tennis’ long-running GOAT debate.
That’s the view of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who believes that if Nadal can continue his success in Grand Slam tournaments, he will pass Federer at the top of the all-time list and in the process become the clear “Greatest of All Time” in men’s tennis.
Tsonga, a former Australian Open finalist in 2008, said that Nadal is the “inevitable favourite” to capture his 21st Grand Slam title at the French Open next month.
Nadal has already won the Grand Slam at Roland Garros on 13 occasions during his remarkable career.
And, with Roger Federer admitting that he won’t be able to contend for the title this year, it means that the Spaniard will be left to battle longtime rival and fellow member of tennis’ “Big Three,” Novak Djokovic, along with Russian Daniil Medvedev, for the title in France.
But, after Nadal’s recent tournament victory over Djokovic on clay at the Italian Open, Nadal is considered to be the favourite heading into the next big ‘Slam of the year.
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“There is no doubt, he has won thirteen times in fifteen years, it’s just out of the ordinary. If there is one favourite, it’s Rafael Nadal.
“Both, whether Novak and Rafael, on the tournament in Rome, still put the church a bit back in the middle of the village and showed that there was still a bit of margin and that they were still the favourites for the Grand Slams.
“Considering that (Nadal) is five years younger than Federer, what he has done is exceptional. Today we cannot question that he was the one who won the most.
“If he were to overtake Roger with the number of Grand Slam titles, there would definitely be no more debate about the greatest player of all time.”
Nadal said that he’s starting to hit his stride on clay after his win at the Italian Open in Rome as he gave a thinly-veiled warning to his rivals ahead of Roland Garros.
“I think I played a good tournament,” he said after defeating Djokovic in the final.
“I have been playing better and better. I have been finding my rhythm on clay. I had a very positive win and I am very happy.
“It is amazing, no? I have this trophy in my hands for the 10th time.
“(It’s) something impossible to happen, but it happened, so I am super happy.”